Former Homeless People Reveal The Best Ways To Help People On The Street
There are far too many homeless people in America. How the "richest" country in the world could allow even ONE of it's citizens to be sleeping on the street is disheartening. And nowadays more and more children and families are the added numbers on that list of outdoor occupants. Homelessness is something that affects all of us. Anybody can be homeless if life throws you enough curveballs. It's a sad issue that we all can take part is helping fix. Everyone has an opinion on how but it's rare that we actually consult the suffering to find out the best course of action.
Redditor [u/haseo8998] asked for advice... [Serious] ex/homeless people, in your opinion what's the best way to really help the homeless? What facilities should each city have for them? Open up your hearts people. There are many in need.
GIVE HELP NOT CHARITY.
The majority of homeless are people you don't see on the street. Families living in cars, people trying to get housing, rents increasing that a family simply cant sustain... I admire San Diego having parking lots dedicated to people/families who live in cars. I also think, as far fetched as it may sound to some, if we give apts to some homeless, with deadlines and goals as we do in the welfare system-- we can help people who are simply in a tough spot. Not everyone is on drugs. Many won't take a hand out, this wasn't supposed to "happen to them." A home provides a sense of stability, their own bathroom. Cooking food. A feeling of safety.
HELP WITH GETTING THERE...
As a former homeless teen, I needed Transportation (like a bus pass or a bike) to make it to school and my job. I couch surfed a lot as a teen and I didn't have a problem with food offers (I know several people who won't eat in front of others unless they are eating too) but I never took money.
A SOFT COUCH...
My couch surfing started with some serious mental illness and dysfunction within my immediate family/parents. I saved up money and put a deposit on a tiny apartment moving in with a roommate. I ended up missing too much school and dropping out but I got my GED the summer after I should have graduated. Married at 18 (to a lifeguard who used to yell at me for using the showers at the public pool) and parents soon after. We both worked our butts off and supported each other (taking turns) with college. I now have my masters degree (in Social Work) and 2 of my 3 kids have graduated HS already. (3rd is in middle school now). I honestly feel I was determined to do better on my own but I know it was the support from my marriage that kept me strong.
WORKING HARD FOR THE $$$
If you know anyone hiring for a job, send them into the homeless shelter and ask for help. Especially if it's an under the table job, 11 times out 10 you'll find help.
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE LOOK...
A system to rent/lease clothes for interviews and work. I know multiple people who weren't able to accept a job or were fired after a few days because they wouldn't be able to afford the uniform until after the first paycheck. 2) Information on how to obtain safe, affordable (cheap) transportation. A lot of folks who are saving to afford a car have been fired due to unreliable transportation.
HELP WITH NO STRINGS... JUST HELP...
Don't make services contingent on each other. Some examples. I used to work fairly traditional hours (about 8-6) and I was in a shelter that required me to use case management services to participate. Ok, I can b-s with some college degree for an hour but they wanted me to take time off work in my minimum wage job to go to this appointment during the day. Nope. Not worth my job. Soon as I could, I filled up my tank and moved back into my car. Another example. If someone just wants a shower, don't make them have to move into your shelter overnight. There might be a good reason I don't want to stay there, just let me wash my stinky self and go about my day. Another thing. If I'm sleeping in my car, leave me alone. It's nice to be able to sleep for longer than 2 hours at a time before having to move, that life gets exhausting real quick. Don't help me unless I ask for help, police don't need to interfere either unless I am the victim of a crime or breaking a law. Basically be flexible, know that I am a human being who has my own life figured out, know that I know things you don't about my own life, and let me set the terms of interacting with the world to the same extent as anyone else.
EVERYONE NEEDS PROOF OF LIFE...
Make it easier to get a drivers license. I moved from WA to SoCal and in the process got my wallet stolen with my ID in it. Without an ID you cant get a new debit/credit which equals no cash. Without cards you cant rent, without proof of residency you can't get an ID. Its literally a circle you cant get out of.
A STEADY ADDRESS...
One of the main reasons the homeless slide further into unemployment is because it's damn near impossible to get a job without a permanent address to give them. I think local businesses are the answer. When you get past the image and stigma, lots of homeless folks just want a job. If the city of state we're able to help businesses with something like tax breaks or whatever to provide min wage work and housing if possible. A restaurant I worked at had a long term dish guy from Mexico living in one of the small studios above the restaurant plus getting a slightly below minimum wage hourly. So many downtown districts have these little spaces. Instead of charging trust fund art kids 2,000/month to live in the attics that those places really are, maybe rent them to people trying to get back on their feet.
A HEALTHY MIND IS A GREAT FIRST STEP...
I was homeless for about 3 months while I was in college. I slept in the school library during weeknights, and on the steps of a church on weekends. I showered and kept most of my stuff in the school gym. Personally I started drinking almost every night because it's so hard to sleep on the concrete, or under the bright lights in the library without something flowing through your system. A lot of homeless people use drugs not just to cope, but to keep themselves on a regular sleep schedule. It's really hard to get a good night's sleep when you don't have any sort of mattress to sleep on, or have lights shining in your eyes at all hours of the night.
There was a homeless shelter nearby but it's only open at night, and it's first come, first served, so if you have classes or other stuff to do there usually isn't any space left. Plus you have to sit on the sidewalk with a bunch of other hobos waiting for it to open. Expanding the size of homeless shelters could help, but it also has a disparate impact on the nearby neighborhoods as well. No one wants a bunch of addicts lying around doing drugs on their front lawn or in front of their business.
Around half the homeless people I met were homeless by choice and wouldn't take a free home if it was offered. A lot of them traveled around the country, often by hopping freight trains. These people wouldn't take services even if offered. Most of the ones I got along with refused to panhandle because they felt it demeaning. A lot of them actually had jobs, they just chose to be homeless for personal or financial services. I think one of the issues with the public's perception of homelessness is that people assume everyone wants a home, everyone wants services, everyone wants to stop being homeless. A majority of the homeless people I met were perfectly happy living life as a hobo.
However, about a quarter of them had serious, obvious mental health issues like schizophrenia. I'd love to see an increase in services to help these people. I think it would be cool if we could create a semi-assisted living community for these people, allowing them some degree of independence as appropriate, but with supervision from health care professionals, sort of like a nursing home for hobos.
A QUICK RINSE...
Washrooms. I m not joking here. A bathhouse or simple sanitary measures. Most homeless people look ugly and disheveled because they don't have option to tidy up. A simple bath makes them socially more acceptable and will boost their sense of self worth.
ALL SHOULD BE AVAILABLE...
They need to offer the option of buying warm food with food stamps first of all. The worst thing was when I was homeless and couldn't even keep any of our food because we didn't have any way to store it or cook it. I could go to a food bank sure, but they gave me 10 lbs of frozen meat and some canned veggies. You have no way of preparing this stuff when you're homeless in the middle of a small town. Not only that, but when you're homeless they actually have the gall to lower SSI and foodstamps because you're no longer paying bills or utilities. Public restrooms and showers would also be wonderful instead of having to wander around at 8am trying to find an open gas station or corner store with a bathroom.
PAGING A DOCTOR....
HEALTHCARE. If a homeless person breaks their ankle and doesn't have the money or insurance to cover it they're screwed. And then if its not treated it doesn't heal right then they're even MORE screwed. Mobility is key to being homeless.
MORE OPEN SPACES...
I used to hop freight trains so this will be a bit different.
I feel like I would have greatly benefitted from libraries being open later, because they were one of my number one spots to go sit, read, and use wifi.
Public parks could use more benches or places to just sit and maybe hang out with your road dawgs for a bit
Also, trash bins outside! I don't litter, but carrying my trash around in my pack and my pockets sucked and sometimes trash bins are few and far between
A FULL PLAN...
I've been homeless more than once. Sleeping in every article of clothing I own because it's winter in upstate NY, USA kinda homeless.
The best way to really help the homeless? In patient mental health treatment, substance abuse and addiction counseling, and basic needs providence - on a time limit.
Transition assistance from indigent to social cog.
Self esteem and employability coaching.
A one year program that reintegrates people into a stable lifestyle is a great start. It's got to be a one-off though. No repeats. It's gotta be assistance, not a crutch.
If I'd have had any of this, I wouldn't have had to fight it out by myself. I wouldn't have relapsed so many times. I wouldn't be afraid or ashamed of asking for help or handouts.
It's tough, in capitalist nations. It's even tougher in countries with no actual backing to their currency. It's the worst when everyone hates the poor.
Volunteer/donate at shelters (make sure they're running well before either one.)
Cities should all have areas where the homeless can at the very least get cleaned up. A way to get a haircut, hygiene supplies (Tampons, pads, soap, shampoo.) a shower, bathroom etc. Understandably a city can't always supply a place to sleep, (yes I know about potential alternatives, but a city can't always get the approval whether its from local politicians or the voters in the area.) But they should do their best to atleast try to help, whether it's simple shelters in parks a person can bunker down in during a storm, a big check in shelter, or a network of volunteer centers.
They should also regularly check in on how things are run, much more than just budgeting and whether they meet grant requirements, but whether or not they're making sure donations go where they should be going, whether or not they're operating under a reasonable overhead, etc.
BELIEVE IN HUMANITY...
I don't know. I learned nothing from my experience except how seemingly terrible and complex the problem is. A lot of the people I encountered are meaningfully mentally ill or physically disabled enough that I don't think there's any path forward for them to living a fully independent life in the conventional sense, they probably need some sort of assisted living program. Other people are so briefly homeless and otherwise capable, that even calling them homeless is more a barrier for them than any sort of meaningful category.
Most people don't want to give to individuals, because some of those individuals are scammers or else are addicts, so they either do nothing or else give to organizations that provide services that unfortunately are often worse than nothing and incur overheard costs that lessens the impact of the money given from the moment it's donated. I would rather sleep outside then in the average homeless shelter, so giving to them isn't necessarily the answer either.
Though I suppose from all this complexity emerges a certain simplicity, in that, if the government took ownership of these problems and actually allocated any money to them at all, it would probably be much easier to create shelters that actually serve a function. Right now you have a lot of private organizations, competing for funding, which usually involves that they demonstrate they serve a unique function and have a novel approach to the problem in their area. Rather than encourage innovation, this essentially nullifies efforts for groups to work together or consolidate services into a comprehensive continuum of care in the way that a state run program might be able to. Granted many states, including my own, are terribly broke at the moment, which sounds like a good reason not to fund such programs, until you figure in the fact that the absence of such programs is probably costing them a lot of money in a round about way, not to mention the fact that said states have had many opportunities to make millions off of paving the way for things like recreational marijuana and gambling and such, but they drag their feet pointlessly.
Ironically the non-profit sector, at the level of the research and the money, is often very self-serving because nothing can meaningfully be expected to be accomplished with no money except jettisoning a phd students career into a better field, that they don't stay means that the people who do stay, are often not policy researchers, but career bureaucrats who don't value novel solutions and therefore perpetuate the cycle of turning away innovation.
It's the intersection of a lot of human failings, the ineptness of government, the cynicism of the individual, even the limitations of medicine itself. At the end of the day, a cursory look at the globe shows us that in countries where homelessness is not a problem, it's clearly a result of them adopting the idea and the priority that no one should be homeless regardless of their situation or character, which is obviously not something that is embraced in the U.S.A.
Personally, my optimism on the issue does not lie with the conventional social service non-profit sector, but with the innovation of designers and engineers. I think the very concept of what it means to be housed is in flux, and that while a lot of the problems they're facing in redefining the nature of housing, structure and shelter are very large, I'll always bet on the mountain that wants to be moved over the pebble that sure as hell doesn't.
SHELTERS SHOULD BE COMFORTABLE.
I was lucky to be homeless in a city with the best shelter I ever heard of. It's a huge facility that offers free, unlimited access to showers, toilets and laundry machines. There is an administrative area where anyone can meet one of the social workers there, or register to make the shelter their official address, so they can receive mail. The canteen serves pretty high quality food for free. There is a common area with beds, but also private boxes with a bed and a small kitchen you can rent like an appartement for 90€/month. The team is overall pretty nice. The best part is that you don't need to painstalkingly prove you're really homeless, provide a lot of documents like in other shelters ; in this one, they treat you with respect and offer you food, shelter and support before talking about papers.
I feel like if every city had such a shelter, it'd be pretty good.
BEING PAID WHAT WE'RE ALL WORTH!
It comes down to homeless people wanting to rejoin society or not. Right now, it's easier for some to be homeless than to live on minimum wage.
We often find ourselves having to guess how to make things work and make things fit--in our lives, but also just in our possessions. Will these pants fit me? These shoes?
Will this screw fit my table? Will this charger fit my phone?
If everything was somehow standard, wouldn't it all be so much easier?
Here were some of those answers.
No More Vanity Sizes
Sizes for clothing.
Especially for shoes. How hard would it be to just list the sizes in centimeters (or inches if you're American)?
WHY DO WE USE STANDARD MEASUREMENTS FOR OUR CLOTHES, BUT THEY ARE DIFFERENT SIZES IN DIFFERENT BRANDS???
Calvin Klein's men's slacks: 32'' waist
Bar III men's slacks: 32'' waist
Perry Ellis slacks: 32'' waist
THEY ARE ALL DIFFERENT WAIST SIZES. WHYY?!?!?!?!
Ah Yes, Three Chilis
There's a standard for chili heat levels (the Scoville scale), but food manufacturers never use it. Instead, they use a varying number of chili icons which mean nothing at all.
It's always fun going to like a Thai restaurant in Canada and trying to figure out whether the chili icon means Thai spicy or Canadian spicy.
Ah Yes, This Could Kill Me
Household electrical voltages and sockets.
Interestingly enough, there was an attempt: since 1986, there is an international standard socket, IEC 60906-1. However, only South Africa has implemented it so far.
And it is unlikely it will ever be implemented in other countries, as the EU is even advising against it since 2017:
REFIT found that "the harmonisation of plug and socket outlet systems in Europe, by introducing changes in national wiring legislations (would have) important transitional periods (above 75 years)", and that the cost to "replace the old socket-outlets (and the corresponding plugs of the appliances being used)" was estimated at 100 billion Euro, "generating a huge environmental impact, producing some 700 000 tons of electrical waste". REFIT does not recommend harmonising the plugs and socket-outlet systems in Europe.
Can we just get a little consistency here? Please?!
After working in a grocery store, can diameters should only come in a maybe 4 sizes. And they should all stack.
But they don't. They never do.
I feel your pain. I hate those narrow jars and cans that are slightly narrower than 3 wires of the shelf so they tip over if you don't place them perfectly.
A Computer Mouse, Not A Little Baby Mouse
Modern rechargable batteries.
We spent years with standard size batteries. We are now stuck with proprietary batteries which aren't designed to be user replaceable and often dictate the life of the device.
Yes absolutely. I found this fact especially annoying when looking for a mouse. Most of the more expensive mice come with rechargeable batteries, and it seems that modern tech reviewers are claiming this is better than some standard double A.
All Standard, Yet None Standard
I worked in a hardware store long enough to learn that apparently everything is standardized.
"I need window screens."
Okay, what are your dimensions?
"It's a standard size window."
"I'm looking for a replacement ceiling fan."
Okay, do you want small blades, large blades? A modest 30" span or a robust 56"?
"Just standard size."
"Do you think this large, bulky, cumbersome commodity will fit in my vehicle?"
I don't know. How big your truck?
"It's a standard one."
protip: it's a sedan. it's always a sedan.
Welp, Here's Your Problem
Based on years of helping my Dad in his shop, doing bodywork on vehicles - fastenings. Bolts, screws. rivets, clips... the sheer amount of specialized fastenings and required tools is insane. Even the variety of types in single vehicles is excessive.
Not to mention many of them are so cheaply made that there is no reusing them.
So Many Sign Languages
Not necessarily something that should be standardised because it would affect many cultures negatively, but I've always wondered what it would be like if every country just spoke one language. Sign language should probably be standardised, but re-learning sign language for people who use it may be difficult and time-consuming
Perhaps We Need To Rethink Policing
Police responses to missing persons across the nation, and the information requirements for police reports to be filled out with specific and complete information at the first point of contact by the person reporting the missing person, regardless of the age, status, or suspected reason for disappearing.
Police should NEVER be allowed to decide a case isn't valid at the first point of contact.
A Recipe For A Lint Fire
The laundry exhaust receptacle in homes should be centered exactly eighteen inches (45.7cm) from the floor with eighteen inches (or 45.7 cm) of clearance on both sides.
The exhaust duct of a clothes dryer should be in the middle of the back of the machine, and centered eighteen inches/45.7 cm from the floor. The dryer should have adjustable feet to allow for slight errors in measurement.
Once this is done, a laundry dryer can be pushed into the wall and we won't need to craft a length of ducting to connect the two.
Just a little bit of sameness and consistency could really go a long way here.
Some things ought not be tried again.
Sure, they made sense the first time. It may have held charm, at least some sense of purpose on the second go around. But eventually, surely, an essential truth became clear: never again.
Reddit is apparently crawling with people carrying around that permanent grudge towards some thing they've done in the past.
Lucky for us, we can learn from their mistakes.
senorllama57 asked, "What is something you will never do again?"
There were, of course, plenty of people who discussed horrible jobs they've held in the past. They may have had little choice at the time, but now that it's all in the past they feel free to share how they really felt.
The Customer Always Seems To Be Wrong
"Work retail. I think every kid fresh out of high school should work a retail job for a year. It builds character." -- ProfessionalTheme415
"How did you get out!?! Lol. It's like a black hole where I work. Everyone that tries to leave comes back." -- threebillion6
A Lot Going On
"Work in a nursing home. The sights, screams and pleas Will haunt me forever." -- M_Lamora
"Honestly working in a nursing home was one of the most weird jobs I ever had. I've never been threatened so many times in my life. I once had a memory care resident ask me if I would help her jump a caregiver."
One After Another
"Work in a call center." -- Evilsmurfkiller
"Sucked the soul right out of me within a year." -- Bandana-mal
"I was at one for 2 and half years and it was not until I left I realized I had work-related depression. I was overeating, not eating, sleep deprived, slept all the time, I had such rage that would come out at times...
"I did not care what happened to me, I left because they were gonna fire me over something dumb because they just fire people for being there long. I left over a year ago, and I have not been this happy to wake up every day in years, my life is so much better now." -- UnusualLight0
Others discussed past struggles they've encountered within the romantic realm. Unfortunately, these lessons came with plenty of emotional struggle.
"Get married. It'll be 19 years this August and my marriage is my marriage. I reserve the right to have a girlfriend at some point if she passes away before I do, but she's the one and only wife, end of story."
"Ignore red flags when talking to someone I want to date. I've done it twice now, and both times sucked" -- YareYareYandere
"Listen to your gut. If something feels off, you're probably not imagining it." -- SurealGod
Don't Forget About You
"Okay first off I'm sorry if this might sound cringe :D . . . That would be hmm become too attached/codependent on a person. Whether it may be of a lover, friend, or just acquaintance."
"Idk if it's coincidence but they either end up gone one day or become total di**s when you least expect it and I'm forced to cut ties."
And some people chose to recall the things they were so certain would be fun and enjoyable, but turned out to be so not.
A Bad Ratio
"I made a super elaborate meal once. It was ... okay. Certainly not worth the effort involved." -- Astramancer_
"Take an hour to make something, only takes 15 minutes to eat. It's bullsh**." -- SurealGod
Hours and Hours
"Times Square on New Years' Eve. It was fun once, never need to do it again." -- AnswerGuy301
"I was going to answer the same thing. It seemed like it would be so much fun but now that I know what it entails — never again" -- hi_its_me
"I have never been and never understood the attraction of waiting for hours and hours in the shivering weather." -- amrodd
Think of Grease Splatters
"Prepare steaks when drunk" -- Kiaulunne
"Not for your reason, but same here. Cooked one at 2am after half a bottle of rum. Quickly ate and passed out after. Woke up around 8am dying for water and realised I left the gas stove on... So glad nothing burned down..." -- schofield101
"I will never get drunk again. Tipsy, buzzed, sure. Thats fine."
"But when I was in front of that toilet for an hour, being so weak I couldn't even sit up, having people constantly come in to check on me, worrying that I might have alcohol poisoning, that is exactly not a fun time"
So take some notes! Or maybe there were some true horrors you went through that this list seems to be lacking.
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You know what they say, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions". Because the people who have our best interests in mind typically have good intentions when they give us advice, but there's a chance that that advice can go horribly wrong.
Try not to follow the bad advice given here, because you don't want to get the results that these guys did.
The workplace can bring a cornucopia of terrible advice. Don’t follow these unless you want to get fired.
Bad jobs are usually not worth it.
Stick with a job no matter how bad it is. I stayed with a terrible job working retail, dealing with horrible customers and sexual harassment. I was told I wouldn't find anything better.
"No, no, you misunderstand. I said you wouldn't find anything better at making you feel like complete garbage."
This gets really creepy really fast.frustrated workplace GIFGiphy
"After you put in a job application, you need to call them at least once a day every day until they hire you."
Note: this did not get me hired. It got me called out by the HR person I was calling and forbidden to ever contact their facility again.
I work for a law firm that employees over 1500 people in the home office alone. Once I received a call from the building security saying, "Insert Name is here to speak with the owner." Well we are run by a committee so that's odd. Found out they just applied for a job and wanted to talk directly to the person that would potentially hire them. Told him the firm will contact them to schedule an interview. They refused to leave without "talking to the owner." Had security escort them out of the building.
This is absolutely not true.
"Sleep is for people who do not want success" great words from my uncle, it almost killed me.
Now I may be oversleeping.
Interpersonal relationships are also a big breeding ground for terrible advice. Don’t listen to any of these.
My father always tought me and my brother that "having friends is bad and in the end they will never be there for you" so everytime I told my father about my friends he would get kinda mad and give me the advice to stop talking to them.
Now I am afraid of people and have several trust issues, thanks dad.
This won’t end well.A Christmas Story GIF by filmeditorGiphy
In the fifth grade my teacher was talking about bullying, then she said "if anyone tries to bully you just agree with them." So the next time I got bullied I agreed with the bully and they bullied me more.
Dude one time I saw an anti bullying video that told the victims to just BE NICE TO THE BULLY. Like the bully was hurling insults and the victim was smiling and complimenting him. My first thought was about how much I hated the mere thought that this would work. My second thought was of how the people who came up with that method had clearly never been bullied.
When I met my now wife at the age of 19, one of my coworkers said that it's very important to start at the bottom with presents and work your way up, she still has the socks I gave her on our first anniversary on the wall over our bed as a reminder...
I'm still trying to teach my boyfriend about good presents and bad presents. Biscuits from the supermarket = bad present. Cheap unbranded laptop battery from China as my only present = bad present (and only lasted 2 months). Anything off my 7-page wishlist = good present. It's literally a list of things I want to receive as presents.
Can tell you from experience that this is a bad idea.
Had a falling out with some friends. My husband recommended I reach out to an old friend who ghosted me suddenly in a manner that induced some pretty severe abandonment trauma. Went for it anyways because "it's been so long, surely they changed". Am now experiencing the same things as last time.
When you follow bad advice, it can lead to mistakes that you just can’t come back from.
Buying a house is tricky.for sale dancing GIF by Lisa VertudachesGiphy
"Buy a home now before the prices go up!" -my FIL in 2006.
We bought in 2007 and paid $259,500 for our 1,300 sq ft house (we really couldn't afford it and had an 80/20 so we had 8% interest for one loan and 6% on the other) and in 2008 it was worth $97,000 so refinancing wasn't even an option. We watched all of our neighbors walk away or get foreclosed on but we kept paying our bills and as of this very moment our house is worth $462,000. I'm so happy we stuck it out, we both worked our @sses off and the house will be paid off in 2 years.
It worked out for us, it's a horrible idea. Especially since 1300 sq ft houses are $460+k
My heartbreaks for future generations, I honestly don't know how people are going to afford housing in the future.
It’s there for a reason.
"Never apply for any government assistance."
Cue years of suffering trying to work full-time with a painful disability. Quit a particularly terrible job, and wanted to apply for food aid until I could find another gig; a friend with lots of DHS experience recommended I apply for Social Security "just to get in the system." Turns out my disability was bad enough to get accepted the first time, which I wasn't expecting. Really could've used that support, oh, the 30+ previous years of my life.
Credit is important to have.
I was told to not get a credit card until after college. I was super fortunate to have my college paid for so I had no loans, car paid in cash, no credit card or anything to start building credit. Found myself out in the world at 22 years old with a credit score of 0.
So while a lot of this bad advice came from trusted people, oftentimes they were too misinformed to give that advice in the first place. Don't trust the word of one person--do your research, and make decisions for yourself.
It'll be way better in the long run
Every once in awhile, somebody comes along, enters your life, and catapults themselves to that awful, unique position at the top of your list of the worst people you have ever met.
Sometimes, the person's blindingly terrible behavior and overall essence is actually impressive. We ask ourselves, "how could a person like this actually exist on purpose?"
Alas, they do. And you have to deal with them. Or, if your lucky, you can carve out some distance.
Redditors shared descriptions of the worst people they've ever had the misfortune to meet. Some have escaped the relationship. Some are are still stuck in the clutches.
LoneStar202 asked, "Who is the worst person you have ever met?"
Some chose to talk about the acquaintances they simply couldn't help but encounter. External circumstances beyond their control made the stars align in the worst way possible.
Keeping the Peace
"There was this guy who used to come into the McDonald's where I did security overnight (yes, that's a job), and he was the biggest ahole I've ever met in my life."
"Ginger, 5'6 or so, named Colby, had a perpetual scowl on his face, looked for any reason to start a fight with anyone. He and his friend would come in when it's super busy, not order, and then yell at the staff that he paid and wasn't given a receipt in the hopes that they'd give him free food rather than deal with him."
"I kicked him out for six months on two separate occasions for coming in drunk and throwing things, drinking beer in the restaurant, starting fights, you name it. Only got in my face once and I never had to fight him, but I'm much bigger than him and the law is on my side."
"Not that I would necessarily have won. I'm big and strong, but I have no idea how to fight and he did. I called his bluffs because I was pretty sure he wouldn't attack me and he didn't."
"Funny, I just realized I've finally forgotten his last name. Not that I'd mention it. He might be less of a @ss now and he's no longer my business."
You Know 'Em
"I work with a real life, archetypal, Karen. She's two-faced, mean, anti-vax, and just generally the whole nine. The first interaction I ever had with her she had to make fun of me behind my back for being a dude with earrings."
"Recently kicked up a stink by making an 'anonymous' email address and emailing our HR department saying people were discriminating against folks not getting the covid vaccine.
"Luckily she's burned too many bridges for anyone to really take her crazy anymore but man is she frustrating to deal with."
Others discussed the family members that, for obvious reasons, they were forced to put up with for years and years. But even family isn't enough to keep a person like that around.
Marrying Into It
"It sounds cliche, but my ex-MIL. What made her the worst is that she was a covert POS."
"We always lived about 1k miles from them, so I didn't pick up on it for far, far too long, but goddamn, I've never met anyone with as much unacknowledged hate and cruelty in their heart."
A Thing of the Past
"My father. Cheater, never paid child support, verbally abusive to my mother, sister and I. Just all around bad dude."
"Haven't talked to him in about 15 years and am 100% ok with that."
So Many Problems
"My brother. He's like a cross between Kramer (Seinfeld, 'my newest thing' and mannerisms) and Frank from Its Always Sunny (illegal activity and completely illogical 'logic')."
"He's ripped me off for thousands of dollars (getting close to 5 figures). Constantly stealing anything he can, but claims 'borrowed' if caught with it. Been to jail 3 times and is currently on house arrest after over a year of probation violations. "
"The epitome of 'easier to say sorry than ask permission' (but the apologies are hollow) and 'what's yours is mine and what's mine is mine.' No consideration for anyone or anything. Manages to break virtually anything he touches. Hasn't had a job in over 1.5 years, but has been trying to fraudulently collect unemployment."
"Constantly thinks everyone is out to get him and people are stalking the camper he lives in (has security cameras that he watches frequently and often 'patrols' the area). Tries to break into locked doors and safe, and pulls the 'why don't you believe/trust me' line."
"I'm just scratching the surface here. He'd use your clippers/razor to shave his family jewels and not clean up the mess (something he's done multiple times)."
Finally, there were the stories of classmates. Whether it was high school, college, or even graduate school, there were enough people there all in one place that one or two rotten people were never far away.
"Guy from my high school was a wannabe thug. He ended up going to juvi junior year. After a year of juvi. He became a true criminal. Broke into people's homes. Stole from stores and got heavy into drugs."
"Then he eventually died after robbing the wrong store at gunpoint. The owner came out the back and shot him with a shotgun."
Wait for the Twist
"My gf's college classmate. Narcistic. Thought of himself as very important so he came into the church where we were graduating, on his HORSE. He damaged a 1000 or something-year-old church floor in Leiden. He thinks he didn't do anything wrong."
"And the weird thing is, we were graduating LAW SCHOOL"
Ride Like Lightning, Crash Like Thunder
"I had a classmate who wanted to become a stock broker and a millionaire. He said more than once, with absolute pride, 'When I'm rich I wont donate a single penny to the poor!' I asked him why and he said 'I have my own problems, and the poor being poor is not one of them.' "
"He opened his own business when he was 23 and was pretty successful, but suddenly a fire burned the place down while he was in it and he suffered from third degree burns all over his body."
"He later confessed setting the fire himself and was found guilty on insurance fraud. He's only 24 now and his professional life is basically over."
A Sudden Shift
"A teacher I once had. Didn't know me. Never spoke to me much."
"One day just randomly snapped at me. Yelling at me telling me that I had no future, that all the awards I got were to go to waste, that I the article I published which I spent hours working on and submitted didn't matter. That even though I was 14 and had many great achievements, I would end up just like that said teacher."
"Worst person I have ever encountered. Did collateral damage to my life as now I am a high school student with no more ambition. Wanna be a journalist? Wanna be a writer? A lawyer? Not anymore buddy."
Hopefully, you don't have too many of these people in your own life. But, let's face it, there's one or two people on your mind right now.
Here's hoping you managed to let go and get away.
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